While my sister was here, we took a trip to Tiradentes. I have to admit, that I much prefer Tiradentes to Ouro Preto, especially with children. I would definitely recommend a visit to Ouro Preto (it's closer to Belo Horizonte), but for a longer stay, I'd have to go with Tiradentes.
Here's how I planned our trip: I get about 50 emails a day from things called Groupalia, Savemail, Peixe Urbana, City Best and CidadeOff that offer discounts and coupons on anything from Hotels/Pousadas, trips to France, Spy Cameras, Sensual Photography (?!?), and Cellulite removal. Really. I tried to use one these discounts to book a room at a Pousada, but of course they don't work during Ferias (vacations). But the website for the Pousada looked nice, and they actually responded to an email, so I decided to go with them. It was called Pousada Fazendinha de Minas, or "Little Farm Pousada." I rented a car with Via Facil, which did NOT respond to emails, but we rented them before when we went to Ouro Preto and Jabuticaba in December. They seem to have good rates, they ask for a lot of things on their "application" for rental, but they don't need a Brazilian Driver's License (I still don't have one, and if you want to know why, you can read here--yikes!). On a beautiful Friday morning, and the kids first day of vacation (it started late because of the teacher's strike back in March), we loaded up our little rented Fiat, and headed out of town. Driving to Tiradentes is pretty easy (for Brazil): the directions aren't too difficult, and it's pretty well labeled. We stopped for a picnic lunch by this little church on the road after we exited from Conganhas (Alto Maranhão)?
There was a cemetery across the street...
...but there wasn't anything interesting there. The Church was closed (not sure if there was anything worth seeing). But it was a convenient place to stop.
We drove another hour or so, and had no problems following signs towards Tiradentes. But it got a little strange as we approached Tiradentes--about 2 miles before the city, the road turns to cobblestone! It felt like we were going the wrong way, and there was NO traffic. It was a little eerie. But then all of the sudden we rolled into town, full of restaurants, cute little shops selling local artwork and crafts, and horses. Lots of horses. Horses pulling carts. Shetland ponies. Horses with pink saddles.
Our pousada was about a 5 minute drive from the central praca, and a 20 minute walk. This was a good thing in my opinion, because I think we heard less traffic, and less noise. Also, the property was a little bit larger, and it was true to it's name: it had ducks, roosters, geese, chickens, peacocks, dogs and 2 horses. There was a koi pond and "fishing" poles (long bamboo sticks that you could poke into the water or use to poke your little sister). There was a pool table and Foosball. There were lots of pretty trees, flowers and a little playground. A GREAT place for kids!
We got settled, and then walked into town.
I'll have to make another post, because the last 3 times I've tried to write, I've gotten an error message, and now what I wrote has disappeared into cyberspace...
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